Bonus Speculative Post: The Scenes That Are Missing From Bahubali 2

I just can’t resist writing this!  We’ve been all talking and agreeing in the comments that there were big character moments “missing” from Bahubali 2.  And I was suddenly struck with inspiration and I just have to write my version of how those scenes would go.

All of these scenes come in the last half hour, after we return from the flashback.  The part that feels like it is just calling out for character moments, and there wasn’t time because we had to have half an hour of battle scenes.

Tamannah and Prabhas 2, night before the big battle: Prabhas enters a tent where Tamannah is preparing her weapons and hiding her tears.  She stands immediately and greets him as king.  He reaches out and touches her, asking “King?  What is this?  Am I not your Shivu?”  She pulls away and says “Shivu was a man who loved me, you are a King.  A King needs a different kind of woman to love.”  Prabhas half-smiles and says “I need a woman who has this” and he grabs her hand, holding its bow, signifying her warrior abilities “And a woman who has this” and he takes her other hand, interlocking their fingers, so that their matching tattoos fit together, signifying their perfect partnership, “And a woman who has this” and he raises their joined hands and brushes his thumb across her lips with a little smile to remind her of sexytimes.  Tamannah can’t help smiling back and looking a little fragile and hopeful as she says “Truly?”  “That is all this King will ever need.”  They have a moment of staring into each other’s eyes as a little hint of their love themes plays, mixing together “Dhivara” and “Pacha Bottasi”.  And then Prabhas takes a step back and says “I will need you by my side tomorrow, performing the most important task”.  Tamannah looks a question.  Prabhas explains, “Tomorrow it will be 26 years since the last time a daughter-in-law of the Mahishmati people performed the fire sacrifice.  If my mother fulfills her destiny and completes the rite, I have no doubt we shall succeed in all our efforts.  I want you to accompany her, step by step for every round, keeping the Soul of Mahishmati alive.”  Tamannah looks solemn and replies “I swear I will not leave her side”.  Prabhas smiles a little and says “Good!  It will be a rehearsal for you.”  Tamannah looks a little confused, and then kind of shy and happy as she understands what he is saying.  She reaches out and takes his hand again, interlocking their tattoos, and then reaches up with her other hand to draw his head down.  The camera moves outside the tent, briefly showing their silhouettes moving to lay down together.

Image result for prabhas tamanna bahubali

And, poof!  Tamannah has acknowledged their new positions, Prabhas has reconfirmed his love, and Tamannah’s value as his partner, his fellow warrior, and the woman he desires have been affirmed.  Oh, and the theme of the 26 year ceremony has been tied together with the love story from the original film.

 

Prabhas 2 and Rohini (Prabhas’ adoptive mother), after the battle:  Rohini is praying to the Shiva linga in the courtyard of the palace.  She is standing and rocking back and her voice is giving out, her hair is loose and her face is dusty.  Clearly she has been praying for a long time.  Prabhas 2 comes up behind her and says “Ma!  Must I stop you again from praying yourself into sickness?”  Rohini turns and says “You should not call me that!  That name is reserved for the noble lady who suffered for you in chains.”  And she gives him a little slap with her hand to emphasize her words.  Prabhas laughs and takes her hand, looking suddenly like a naughty little boy, saying “this hand has been hitting sense into my head for 25 years.”  Rohini smiles and tries to pull it away, but Prabhas keeps hold, “and this hand has been feeding my mouth for 25 years.  And soothing my wounds and wiping my tears.  Who can it belong to but my mother?”  Rohini is looking angry and also a little bit like she might cry and says “For 25 years, I had the honor to act as your mother, and these hands would have worked themselves to the bone it if would give you a moment’s ease.  But that time is done now, I want you to go from here and forget, your poor mother has sacrificed 25 years of her life in chains for you, it is her time now.”  Prabhas smiles and says “Tell me, why do you pray to this Lingaa, do we not have one in the village?  Is that not the source of Shiva’s power?”  Rohini frowns at him “I have taught you better than that!  Shiva’s power is not limited to one Lingaa!  It is everywhere, in the village and here at the same time.”  Prabhas gently says, “and so it is with love.  My mother’s love can live both in the heart of that noble woman, and in this crazy woman who has taught me all I know.”  Rohini starts to cry and also smiles back, and Prabhas gently ends “And so, tomorrow, the Ranimaa will give me my crown, but before I take it, I will need my Ma to bless me.”

Image result for prabhas rohini

And, ta-da!  Not only is Prabhas’ relationship with Rohini acknowledged, the connections between his free jungle childhood and his royal future are resolved.  And we know that he will not turn into the same king his father could have been, because he was raised not in the fearsome royal court but in Rohini’s indulgent forest life.

Anushka and Tamannah, shortly before the coronation:  Already in full dress, Anushka is sitting in a room of the palace, looking at a small swan figurine, turning it over and over in her hand.  Tamannah comes into the room and says, with eyes lowered and deep respect, “Ranimaa.  The King is asking for you.”  Anushka doesn’t look up, but asks, “tell me.  You are a woman of Kuntala.  Tell me what you know of our country.”  Tamannah stands tall and proud and says “Kuntala is free, and Kuntala is brave, and Kuntala will never forget her duty, or falter in the face of death”.  Anushka sighs and sets down the swan figurine and says, “and is Kuntala beautiful?”  Tamannah looks confused.  Anushka holds out her hand and says, “come, sit with me, let me tell you of the Kuntala I knew.”  Tamannah goes over and carefully kneels beside her.  Anushka gently reaches down and touches her head and starts to talk “The Kuntala I knew was a place of green fields, falling water, flowers and art and laughter.”  As she talks, the “Hamsa Naava” song starts up in the background, and we see slow flashes of the Kuntala of Anushka’s youth, intercut with the two women’s faces, to show that Tamannah is capturing a vision from Anushka’s words.  And then she finishes by firmly setting down the swan figurine and saying “The Kuntala I know is dead and gone.”  Tamannah reaches out and picks up the figurine and says “It may be dead but nothing is ever really gone.”  Anushka smiles at her and says “thank you, daughter-in-law.”  Tamannah looks surprised at Anushka’s acknowledgement of her position in Prabhas’ life.  Anushka reaches out her hand and takes Tamannah’s and looks at the tattoo on it, turning it side to side.  And then looks up and says, “I am very pleased that my son has chosen a woman of my Kuntala kingdom, a true woman who is not afraid to combine beauty and strength.”  Tamannah smoothly bows her head and says “Thank you, Ranimaa.”

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And abracadabra, the connections between the two women soldiers, the two women who loved these men, and the two women who are proud Kuntala warriors are made!  Not only that, it is the start of a new, better, relationship between daughter-in-law and Queen mother.  Anushka has made the first move, reaching out to build a connection with Tammanah outside of their shared love for Prabhas.  And Tamannah has respond with respectful acknowledgement of Anushka’s primary claim.  This will be a household that can contain two strong women who work together, not against each other.

 

Kattappa and Anushka and Prabhas 2, final scene of the film:  In the grand throne room, with all the nobles gathered, Anushka calls out from the regents throne (with Prabhas sitting in the central throne and Tamannah in the lower one) “What business is before the court?”  Kattappa steps forward and says “A judgement, my Queen.”  “Who is to be judged?”  “Myself, my Queen.  For the killing of our noble king, these 25 years ago.”  Murmurs and horror go through the audience!  Anushka waves a hand and orders “Quiet!” The crowd immediately falls silent.  She turns back to Kattappa and says, “Are you ready for your judgement?”  Kattappa pulls off his helmet, and bows his head and holds out his sword balanced on two hands.  Clearly expecting an execution.  “I am ready”.  “Then I judge you to spend 25 years in servitude, a life filled with daily humiliations and pain.  I judge you to desire death, but be forbidden even that as it would be to break a bond with your kinsman who have gone before and for whose sake you must keep your word.  I judge you to risk your life to save the son of that man you have killed, not once, but many times.  I judge you to lead a brave band of men who have finally placed that son on the throne where he belongs.  I judge you to all these punishments.  Now, tell me,” (and Anushka raises her voice and looks out on the crowd), “does anyone here disagree with my judgement?”  The room is silent.  Until Prabhas speaks up, “I would add one thing, respected Ranimaa.”  Anushka turns to him, “tell me, my King.”  Prabhas says “I would add that, for all his acts, he has earned release from this life”.  Kattappa keeps his head bowed.  Prabhas continues, “for 50 years, you have served Mahishmati, and now that time is over”.  Kattappa keeps his head down, with a look of acceptance.  Prabhas stands and walks down the steps from the throne and takes the sword from Kattappa.  He raises it and brings it down on Kattappa’s neck.  But stops at the last instant and raises it again.  Kattappa looks up in surprise.  And Prabhas smiles at him as the iron ring that signified his servitude slips from around his neck, the sword having been used to split it.  Prabhas says, “You are free, Grandfather.  You have earned the salvation of yourself and all your ancestors by your faithfulness, and now your servitude is finished.  Mahishmati will ask no more of you.”  Kattappa starts to tear up a little.  Prabhas opens his arms and says, “And now, not as your master or your king, but I am asking as your son, Grandfather, will you embrace me one more time?”   Kattappa reaches out and embraces Prabhas who holds him tightly in return.  The camera pulls back to show Anushka smiling from her thrown, Tamanna from hers, and then the camera keeps pulling back, showing the happy crowd inside and out.

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(Let’s replace this image with a better one)

And, yay!  We end the film with forgiveness and reconciliation.  Plus, we get to see how this new Mahishmati will function.  With judgements based on “Dharma”, not just law.  And with respect between mother and son, Anushka being asked to give the initial judgement, but acceding to Prabhas’ greater power when he wishes to add to it.  Oh, and with a real resolution for poor Kattappa, the heart of the film.

 

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42 thoughts on “Bonus Speculative Post: The Scenes That Are Missing From Bahubali 2

  1. Very funny speculation that could have been tried by any other director, but not Rajamouli.

    I enjoyed reading your speculation.

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  2. Love them all! But we need two other scenes, I think, and possibly three.

    1. One of Shivudu kneeling in front of Devasena, accepting her as his mother, and also the queen he must avenge, and Devasena happily acknowledging him as her son and her champion.

    2. One scene of the Kuntala rebels celebrating the rescue of their queen, and them all coming, one by one, to pay their obeisance to her, and to pledge to avenge her cruel treatment by Bhallaladeva.

    3. One scene between Shivudu and Kattappa, planning the attack strategy, with Kattappa slowing Shivudu down from immediately storming the castle, and organizing their peasants, guerrilas, and any city folk that may join them into fighting units, and giving them all a little training. Or, like the cowherds in Kuntala, assessing the unique skill set of each group, and figuring out how to best use them in the attack.

    By the way, there is some interview of Rajamouli, possibly in Variety, where he doesn’t quite rule out making a Bahubali 3. If so, I would like it to be The Restoration of Kuntala, with Mahendra and Avanthika making a preliminary tour to assess all the damage it has suffered in the last 25 years, to figure out what it would take to restore it, and then putting the rebel commander in charge of the restoration process, so he, too, can regain the joy and optimism of his youth, along with the other rebel fighters. Yes, I know he was shown to be killed in the final battle (he had even less screen time than Tamannah), but I think that’s too depressing an end for him. So maybe we can start by discovering that he is not dead, but seriously wounded, and Avanthika and the others working to nurse him back to health. And hey, maybe Shivudu’s adoptive mother can treat him with some traditional tribal medicines obtained from the forest! She saves him when all others have given up hope. You can even have Mahendra request this of her when Avanthika is despairing of his recovery, and Mahendra says, “Wait, my mother is a wonderful healer who is the keeper of our tribal lore of herbs and natural remedies!” and drafts her in.

    I hope the above will inspire you to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, whichever is your preferred mode. 🙂

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    • One amendment to your scene 1 I forgot to mention in my earlier reply: All they do is look into each other’s eyes??! Come on, this couple has already had premarital sex! Even his parents had a premarital kiss. So I think he’d be a little more demonstrative about assuring her that he still loves and wants her.

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      • I don’t know, I kind of like it that Tamannah always makes the first move in their relationship. So Prabhas gives his speech, and then Tamannah responds by embracing him. I’d rather have that, and then a classy pulling outside of the tent to imply sex, than something more explicit. Although, on the other hand, I could do with another love song. That mixed together reality and fantasy, like their first one.

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        • Oh, let Avanthika lead the way. I have no objection. 🙂 I think another great love song at this point would give a needed respite from all the blood and gore to come. Of course there will be some people (I might even be among them) who’ll be crying, “On with the war! Don’t waste time on this stupid romance!: 😀

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          • I think so long as there is another shot of Tamannah’s bare back, at least half the audience will be fine with another song. I didn’t even notice that moment in Pacha Bottassi, and then when I was looking for images for this post, it is ALL OVER the internet! Apparently there are a lot of people who really really really like looking at her bare back. And, I presume, imagining what is in front.

            On Thu, May 4, 2017 at 7:29 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • LOL, I can’t believe you missed all those youtube videos and comments speculating about what exactly Prabhas got to see in that song, and how lucky he was to get such an assignment. 🙂

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          • Well, there goes my innocent view of their fairy tale romance!

            On Thu, May 4, 2017 at 7:39 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I love your scene ideas! I wouldn’t even want dialogue necessarily, they could be just 10 second visuals.

      For the rebel leader, I didn’t include this because it isn’t just an added scene but a change to the script, but I want him to be Subbaraju! It almost felt like they were going that way, and it would have done such a good job tying things together. The useless silly prince has turned into a hard warrior, and Prabhas 1’s gift of the knife and encouraging words resonates down to the present day through the leaders influence on Tamannah, and her influence on Prabhas 2 in turn. All they would need to do to make it work is have him be beaten and stabbed, and then chained instead of killed. And maybe a quick visual of Anushka breaking his chains when she comes back to the palace with the baby. And then that scene we already had of Kuntala kingdom being destroyed while the people watched, we could include him, looking all hardened and beaten down and grasping his knife. And fade into the present day rebel leader, with a shot of the knife, to make sure the audience got the connection. Put in your scene of everyone bowing to Devasena, with him taking the lead, and then falling in behind her to acknowledge his position as fellow member of the royal family, and you can keep everything else.

      Liked by 1 person

      • H’mm, Kumare Varma (Subbaraju’s character) died pretty explicitly at the beginning of the conspiracy. It’d be difficult to bring him back to life. 🙂 Besides, I like the idea of the rebel fighters arising out of the common people trying to rescue their beloved queen, instead of again being led by a member of their royal family. That kind of defeats the democratic aspects of the Kuntala kingdom, don’t you think?

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        • True. I just want more ways to tie the flashback to the present day! I think its purposefully disconnected, that’s the tragedy to see how all these great people were just cut down and forgotten. But that’s TOO DEPRESSING!!!! I need a little hope, one person who survived!

          On Thu, May 4, 2017 at 7:27 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • They were cut down, but they certainly weren’t forgotten. That was the whole point of the statue scene in part 1.

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          • Prabhas and Anushka, sure. But everyone else! Her brother, his wife, her cousin, it was just so sad to think of all of them not just dead, but erased.

            On Thu, May 4, 2017 at 7:37 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • The rebel leader is Devasena’s brother. That’s why he calls Devasena by her name.

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          • It’s funny, looking back on these posts, they are a little bit time capsules. I think shortly after this one came out, the cast list clarified it was the same person, before then we weren’t sure.

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      • I’m glad someone else thought Subbaraju was the rebel leader too! For some reason they struck me as looking very much alike, and I always thought it was interesting that the rebel leader guy calls Anushka by name instead of “Maharani” when Prabhas 2 rescues her so when I saw Subbaraju, I figured it was because they were related. But I agree too with moimeme that it is more poignant for it to be a random commoner.

        Also I would have loved for all of those scenes to be in there but that Kattappa one needed to be the ending scene IMO. Bringing everything full circle and giving all our characters closure

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        • Kattappa never really got closure, did he? He had this horrible sin on his conscience for decades, never really got to have a conversation about it with anyone. And just continued his life as the powerless slave of this family, only with better people to serve. Instead we just get that one small scene in the middle of the battle when he hits Nassar and declares that now he can serve a worthy master. Yay? “I’m still a slave, but at least I’m a slave for good people now”?

          Plus, Kattappa is in so many ways the heart and soul of the story, showing his happiness and better life now that the right king is on the throne would have properly ended the film.

          Oh, and of course in the epilogue, now-free Kattappa would have traveled to The East and starred in an odd couple roommates sitcom with Sudeep. Can you imagine their conversations over what to have for dinner? “Pizza! The greatest pizza of all time! Made by the finest craftsmen in all the world! Admire it!” “I WILL DESTROY YOUR PIZZA WITH THE POWER OF MY SANDWICH!”

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          • I really really wanted that scene with Kattappa and Nasser to end not with Kattappa getting out of it through a loophole, but to come out and say, “No, I have already destroyed too much that I love by doing as my ancestors tradition says I should do, I am going to do what is right instead.” That is such a strong theme in the rest of the movie, I really wanted to see it come back and to have Kattappa free himself, and instead we just don’t ever revisit the subject again 😦

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          • I know! In the first movie, the whole idea of Kattappa’s glorious sacrifice of permanent obedience kind of worked, because it was a much more superficial film. We hadn’t started getting into the big arguments of Law versus Dharma and stuff. But in this film, it really really feels like it needed to be addressed.

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        • I am not sure if it was diacussed here (everything is so exciting to read and I can’t scroll down fast enough on my phone!) but the rebel leader is actually Devasena’s brother.

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          • I wondered! And then I thought “maybe I just think that because they both have beards and all bearded men look alike to me?”

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  3. Reblogged this on Tales'n'Tunes and commented:
    Just came across this lovely post by Margaret of Don’tCallItBollywood, and couldn’t help but reblog it. To be honest, I couldn’t have put it in better words. Jai Mahishmati!

    Like

  4. Heavy hangover of Rajshri and Barjatya, Margaret. Loved everything there, but inclusion of any one of these scenes shall ruin the film’s integrity and intensity fatally IMHO. Are you aware of the history of this fictional kingdom? It was written in the book “The Rise of Sivagami” by Anand Neelakantan with cues from Rajamouli on the characters’ mental behaviours.

    Mahishmati was a kingdom formed by plundering the livelihood of tribals who were captured and enslaved. Child trafficking and slavery were the key sins made. Karikaala Kattappa Naadaar, the son of Malayappa Naadaar took care of Bijjaladeva and his brother Vikramadeva when they were kids and saved their lives too. Kattappa’s brother Shivappa was the first person to call him a dog of Mahishmati’s throne. When Sivagami’s father was publicly killed by the king through capital punishment, she swore revenge on the kingdom. Being a relentless, strong willed and ruthless soul since childhood, Sivagami made quick progress. However, she falls in love with Vikramadeva later. In a turn of events, she decides to be the rajamata of Mahishmati, dumps Vikramadeva and marries Bijjaladeva whose disability makes him her puppet. Vikramadeva’s death looms the kingdom when he was made the king.

    Her love for Vikramadeva too might have been a factor why Sivagami loved Baahubali more than Bhallaladeva IMHO. Her love for Baahubali was so pure, that his reaction in the court made her feel betrayed. And yes, Kattappa’s freedom may never happen. I forgot to add earlier that the tribals cursed the kingdom that one day, a tribal shall be the reason for its fall and rise as well. You know who they are. Sivagami and Kattappa are very complex characters who warrant a read. This book is the first of the triology and the remaining ones are expected to come out later.

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    • Thanks for the info! I’m planning to read the books, once I get my hands on a copy. And it sounds like our thoughts are accurate, that Mahishmati is not supposed to be an earthly paradise, but rather a flawed civilization that desperately needed reform.

      On Thu, May 4, 2017 at 1:12 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Thanks for this summary. Now I don’t have to bother reading it. I mean that in a good way. Your summary makes me so angry that I would never get through the whole book.

      Anyway, Rajamouli giving “cues” doesn’t make this the definitive or “real” history of Mahishmati. Rajamouli may own what’s in the films (though Margaret could probably give you a strong argument on why he doesn’t), but as far as the backstory, all of use can come up with our own. I may also say that this particular backstory doesn’t actually jive with the present as shown in the two films.

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  7. I just saw BB2 for the third time (again in IMAX), and while watching the second half, kept expecting to see our speculative scenes! 🙂

    But I also felt they weren’t really needed, as indications of what we wanted to convey through them were clear enough.

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    • That’s good to hear! that they didn’t feel necessary. BB1, I enjoyed more and more on every watch, as I saw more and more little moments that made the whole film richer. I’ve still only seen BB2 twice, I’m hoping that on more watches, I’ll see more little things that convey big messages.

      On Fri, May 5, 2017 at 1:23 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. Loved this! 🙂

    Let me add another to the wish list of “missing scenes I hope somebody writes fanfic for” – I would dearly have loved to see Bijjaladeva get his comeuppance. That blink and miss scene of Katappa refusing his orders in BB2 was not enough! Although it was a shock to Bijjala when Katappa refuses since it means Bhalla is no longer legitimately king, it was too small a scene for such a grand movie.

    I really wanted to see Bijjala’s reaction to Bhalla’s death, to see the realisation hit him that his life-long dreams for power have come to nothing.

    It would have been so satisfying to see the royal snake finally get trodden into the dirt! If only.

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    • Have you read my scene by scene? I think I lost it in the section titled “Die already!!!!”

      Anyway, I am still doing a fanfic sequel just for me, and the section I am working on now shows what Nassar would be doing if Rana had died in power and Prabhas and Anushka’s children had inherited and taken over.

      Liked by 1 person

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